Be it traditional film-based photography or modern digital photography, Fujifilm is the brand that has maintained its existence. Today, you find different kinds of digital cameras developed by this brand instead of Fujifilm film rolls that you found in the era of film-based photography. In this article, we will discuss the features and problems of one of the latest Fujifilm cameras, which is Fujifilm X100S. We will provide a complete review on this camera that will help you to understand its pros and cons before purchasing it.
The Fujifilm X100S is the successor of the path-breaking X100 digital camera. Like X100, X100S too has maintained its retro style design, which makes it look like 1960s cameras than a modern-aged digital camera that has flashy look. The features that are upgraded in this new version are 16-mega pixel X-Trans CMOS design sensor that can produce some incredible results with high ISO settings, and a quite fast and reasonably quick auto-focus.
Design and Features:
The retro design was initially used by Olympus, but Fujifilm is the company that has taken this torch and kept running with it until it produced its first retro look digital camera in 2010 as X100. When you see this camera from a distance, you will find that it looks just like 1960s camera with some extra dials and smaller footprint. The silver finishing at the top plate, bottom plate and lens, and the black leatherette surrounding the body of the camera give it a fancy look. The dimensions of the camera are almost similar to that of a retro style camera, which are 2.9 by 5 by 2.1 inches; however, the weight of the camera is larger than that of the older camera and is less than a pound. The camera has 23mm f/2 design lens that deliver the field of view of a 35mm lens terms of full-frame photography.
Instead of using a mode dial, the X100S has taken a classic approach for setting the shooting mode. Its lens has a physical aperture ring with 1-stop clicks, ranging from f/2 to f/16. The speed dial at shutter, which is located at the top plate, enables you to set the shutter in one-stop increments from ¼ seconds to 1/4,000 seconds.
At the left of the rear LCD, there is an EV indicator bar that is visible in the optical fiber also, which lets you know whether you are underexposed or overexposed at the current settings. A half-press of the shutter also shows you how the scene looks like as soon as you start capturing, which assumes that you are using the EVF or rear LCD at that time.
On the rear of the camera, you have some additional controls. You have a jog switch at the top. Pressing this jog switch to left or right shifts the shutter speed when you start shooting in program mode, but only when you have set the ISO to some specific value. Pressing this jog in magnifies the live view frame, which is helpful for confirming the focus. You also have a button to select the active auto-focus point; this button is known as AEL and AFL button. One of these buttons is for enabling the macro shooting, whereas another is for controlling the flash output. You also have a button for white balance control. All these last four options are at each point of a four-way controller or control wheel that is used for navigating through the menus and move the active auto-focus point.
At the left of the LCD, you have controls that let you enter into the playback mode, select from options available for continuous drive shooting, change the metering pattern, and the option for activating the eye-sensor that makes the changeover automatic. To the right of the rear LCD, there is also a control button. This button changes how much information is overlaid over the optical finder and live view frame. Finally, you have a Q-button at the rear-right corner. This button brings the menu up and enables you to change most of the settings that have just been listed off and some that are related to JPG output. This includes the color balance, noise reduction, image sharpening, and the brightness of LCD. This also provides a faster way to enable or disable the self-timer. However, if you do not utilize the Q – function, then you have to drive into the camera’s main menu.
The hybrid viewfinder in your Fujifilm X100S camera is the gem of all other features. When you use it in optical mode, you will get a clear and bright view of the world with overlaid white frame that shows you the view of what lens is going to click. However, the camera has some weak points as well, one of which is rear LCD. The rear LCD of this camera is only of 2.8 inches in size, which is quite small, but it is required for keeping the camera body size where it is right now. The resolution of the camera is only 460k dots, which is negligible when we compare it with EVF. Therefore, the Fujifilm X100S is an eye level camera and you can get a sharper rear LCD camera at this price.
In this way, some of the top features of this camera are included in the above paragraphs. The brief description of Fujifilm X100S features let you work more effectively with your digital camera.
The manufacturers of the camera do not recommend using the camera at macro distance at f/2. If you do so, then you find that the images get very soft with glow around the edges of the object; but this feature can be very pleasing for some objects like flowers. However, if you prefer more realistic look in your photographs, then avoiding this feature is recommended. The lens of the camera sharpens a bit at f/2.8; however, if you are trying to capture a detailed photograph, then the best deal can be setting the lens at f/4 or f/5.6. The minimum shooting distance for standard mode of the camera is 1.6 feet; but if you enable the macro function, then you can click a photo as close as 3.9 inches, which makes this camera far better than other digital cameras of the same category. Another best feature that you will find specifically in this camera is it keeps the noise under 1.5 percent through ISO 12800.
The video specifications of the camera are also good. It captures the videos at 1080p60 quality in QuickTime format. The footage of the video looks amazing, as it is smooth and sharp with rich and vibrant colors. However, the experience with the auto-focus is not that good. The camera becomes a bit slower when refocusing while recording and you can easily hear the voice of lens clicking as it adjusts itself.
You got a mini HDMI port from where you can connect your camera to your HDTV. Moreover, you have a propriety USB port and slot for card where you can insert SD, SDXC, and SDHC memory cards.
The hybrid electronic or optical viewfinder is one of the useful features of this camera. The incredible high ISO image quality with 35mm wide-angle field of view makes this camera a must-have gadget for photography lovers. Quick focus, fast f/2 lens, and excellent layout control are some other efficient features of the camera. The continuous shooting at 5fps makes it a first choice for all those who want quick yet sharp photography. The X-Trans image sensor and the availability of wide-angle adapter make this camera a reliable tool to click photos.
Nothing in this world is perfect and one of the biggest flaws of this camera is it is bigger than some other large sensor cameras. There is no image stabilization and the manufacturer must focus on the better quality of videos. A sharper rear LCD screen can improve the clientele of this camera. Another flaw of this camera is – the macro shots at wide apertures have a soft focus look. The lens of the camera suffers from the softness of edge. These are some of the Fujifilm X100S problems, which users come across in their day-to-day working with this camera.
You should not be fooled by the retro exterior of this camera, as it is full of advanced and modern features that impressed the users and earned it Editor’s choice award. The bottom line that we can give here for this camera is it is speedy than its predecessor. It starts and grabs the shots in just 1.3 seconds, and if you provide good light and focus, then it can shoot a photo in just 0.2 seconds because in low light, the focus itself takes 0.9 seconds to adjust. Therefore, you can burst the shooting at fast rate than ever before with Fujifilm cameras. Moreover, if you are planning to buy an efficient, quick, and witty digital camera, then this could be a better option for you.
Guest Post by: Amit is a freelance writer. He loves to write on latest trends in technology, Problems related to software, social media, etc. By profession he is a data recovery expert and currently doing research on image recovery software.